Yesterday I woke up to my furnace screeching like a banshee. Turned it off, and called for service, but they won't be able to get out for a while. I'm not sure when, because the service will be through my home warranty. I have a fireplace and wood, south facing windows that let in lots of sun, and a very small, not-so-awesome electric space heater. I have some questions about the combination of heating sources I should use until the furnace gets repaired.
I live in North Carolina, US, so it's relatively mild, but it is getting down near freezing at night.
Today will be fine; it's getting up to 67ºF/19ºC this afternoon. However, here's a question about today specifically. Which will give the better bang for the buck: opening up the house, or using passive solar to warm it up without opening windows?
Secondly, the forecast for the rest of the week is going to alternate between sunny and rainy, with typical temperatures of about 54º-56ºF/12º-14ºC for the high and lows kind of all over the place, from 32ºF/0ºC to 47ºF/8ºC. See here
for the full forecast.
I'm planning on closing off unused rooms, but I have a pretty large space consisting of the kitchen and two living spaces (one of which has the fireplace) that are all open to each other.
What combination of fire, space heater and sunlight will maximize heat gain and minimize heat loss for me until the furnace is repaired?
Also, any other suggestions about keeping the house warm will be gratefully accepted!